Wedding Blooms: Peonies

Admiring gorgeous bouquets is one of our favourite past times at Ruby + Swallow and our dedicated Pinterest board is clear evidence that if we could, we would be pinning bouquets 24 hours a day (after stationery, of course)! To put our passion to practical use, we thought it would be fun to share some flower inspired posts with you over the next couple weeks.

We simply had to start this series featuring Peonies, one of the most requested bouquet flowers for the last few years. At a blooming rate of 3 years to reach full maturity, these beautiful blossoms take time to grow and are often charged at a per flower rate due to the large and voluminous sizes they grow to.  These soft, billowing flowers have been a firm favouite of ours for a long time. They're romantic, elegant and so dreamy. They also have a strong sweet and floral fragrance - all the better to accompany you down the aisle with! What's more; peonies are great for a DIY bride - they look fabulous just bunched together and tied with ribbon - you don't need anything else except their beauty to shine.

Peony Basics 
Colours: Available in a range of colours including shades of white, yellow, burgandy red, pink and coral
Flowering Time: Expect these in season in Spring and Summer, so between September and February
Varieties: There are over one hundred varieties of Peonies, but the most popular types are Tree Peonies, Shirley Temple (our favourite), Sarah Bernhardt, Festiva Maxima and Walter Mains.
Symbolises: Prosperity and beauty

Work Peonies into your big day: 
- It goes without saying that the best way to bring Peonies into your wedding is through your bouquet. Pinterest is full of different examples of Peony bouquets - start here for some inspiration. 
- Peonies come in a large variety of colours; use this to your advantage by bringing in pops of colour into your bouquet - one or two Peonies is enough to make a statement; especially considering how large they can grow to (think up to 15cm wide!) 
- If your budget is constrained, there are other ways of bringing Peonies into your wedding - a single Peony in your hair will make for a beautiful accessory. You could also bring Peonies into your stationery - they work beautifully as modern illustrations 
- Don't forget that your cake can become a wonderful blank canvas to hold a multitude of Peonies. They need not be real either; a skilled baker should be able to craft beautiful sugar peonies for you 

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